Friday, February 20, 2009

Shiro

Size: 8 x 10 inches
Medium: Acrylic
Support: Ampersand Gessobord

This is Shiro who passed on in July 2008. She was 17 years old. It took me a while to paint her for our wall, but I finally started on it this week. When she was just about 2 months old, we adopted her entire family, including her siblings, mother, and grandmother. They were such beautiful and wonderful companions. Now they have all passed away, but left so much lovely memories in our hearts.

I will be working on two more portraits of our cats that have passed away recently. I think I'm ready to paint them now.

28 comments:

adebanji said...

Amazing! Sometimes I feel you are just able to possess the whole spirit of these wonderful creatures to be able to paint them so intensely and as beautifully as you have done here. Great piece!

DEB said...

Akiko - I can tell this one was a labor of love. White cats are THE hardest to paint, and you did it SO beautifully!

Mona said...

Wow! Akiko, this is just wonderful in every way. I love how she had a red collar too. I agree with Deb, white fur is tough, but this has solid dimension throughout.

Kathleen Coy said...

So beautiful, Akiko! And I too, love the collar and how beautifully you rendered it. Her eyes are so amazing! Don't you just love Ampersand Gessoboard, it's my favorite surface for acrylics! :-)

Erika Nelson said...

Those eyes have had many conversations with you. What beautiful labor of love. I don't know how many more pieces of your heart is left, you seem to give a piece to every cat you have ~hugging you~

artbyakiko said...

Adebanji, thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my Shiro's portrait!

artbyakiko said...

Deb, thank you! Shiro means White in Japanese, and yes she was always difficult for me to paint especially because she kept herself super clean.;)

artbyakiko said...

Mona thank you for your kind remarks. I like the combination of white and red, maybe because it represents god and life in Japanese culture and often used for celebrations.

artbyakiko said...

Kathleen, thank you. Yes, I love using Ampersand Gessobord. I also like Multimedia Artboard for smaller works. You should try it, if you haven't yet.

artbyakiko said...

Erika thank you! I seem to have more hearts for animals than I can actually afford. ;)

Dean H. said...

A beautiful painting, Akiko. I understand how hard it is to paint anything dear to the heart which has passed on.

dominique eichi said...

What a beauty. You are a master at showing us the love these dear animals have.
Beautiful

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Oh, wow, Akiko! Beautiful! The background is so lovely against the white. White is very difficult for me to paint and it is very hard to paint one who has passed. The tears come too easily for me. On my Poe's Raven and Cat, the cat is Jeckle (she passed in May 2007) without her white. I plan to do another portrait of her with her white, I think I am ready.

Sheila said...

Utsukushii Shiro-chan. For her to have lived all those years tells me she was very much loved and given the best care. A cat with her paws tucked under her chest is one of my favorite poses. HUGS!

artbyakiko said...

Dean thanks for your visit. Yes, it's always hard to paint my own cats that have passed on, but when I'm ready, the painting process brings me closer to them and it's a rewarding experience.

artbyakiko said...

Dominique thank you so much for your kind remarks!

artbyakiko said...

Gail thank you so much. I would love to see Jeckle's portrait with her white! On our bedroom wall, we have a portrait of every cat we had and passed on. There are 14 now. Three more will join, including Shiro. This bedroom has developed into a gathering place for all our cats. :)

artbyakiko said...

Sheila thank you so much! Shiro was especially graceful in this pose.

Joanne said...

Hi Akiko,

Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your soul in this painting. Truthfully, I know of no one who can compare with you in painting creatures. Her fur even glows in the shaded parts of this painting. It is an inspirational painting... I am very glad you decided the time was right to paint this faithful companion. She was gorgeous. :-)

Carolee said...

This is just stunning! Every time I visit your site and see your latest work, my jaw just drops. You are truly gifted....

~ Carolee

Martina Alberts said...

I was sure that I knew this cat - and yeeees!!! It is that wonderful painting that I already saw on another site.

I love love love your artork and wish that I one day can paint our cats. Being half as good as you are would make me totally happy.

Great work, Akiko!

artbyakiko said...

Hi Joanne, thank you for your kind remarks on this painting. Yes, she was very beautiful outside as well as inside.

artbyakiko said...

Carolee, thank you so much for your visit! Your animal creations truly are my inspiration!

Mona said...

Akiko, If it's too personal it's fine also, but your special wall arrangement of your beloved cats sounds so wonderful, do you have a photo of this wall that you could post?

artbyakiko said...

Hi Martina thank you so much for taking the time to look at my painting. Your drawings are awesome!

artbyakiko said...

Mona, I will try taking pictures. :)

James Parker said...

Akiko, I come to visit a couple of times a week for inspiration...I'm never disappointed. Shiro is marvelous. One of my favorite wildlife artists is Brest Van Kempen, who says he spends about an hour and a half per square inch. At that rate I'd mummify. I've never considered my "paint rate" a big factor, but have you ever "guess-timated" yours?

artbyakiko said...

Hi James! Thanks for your kind remarks on my Shiro. I just checked Kempen. Wow!!! His paintings are amazing. You say that he spends 1.5 hours/square inch, and I believe it. I think I spend many hours on each painting although far less than him. I realize now that it's not just time, but also SKILLs!

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